A former Burnley councillor who attacked a pub landlord is suffering from mental health problems, a court has heard.
Convicted football hooligan Luke Smith, 26, is awaiting sentence at Burnley Magistrates Court after punching the landlord and his solicitor told the court there had been a marked deterioration in his mental health.
The former Lanehead councillor made national headlines in 2003 after he was kicked out of the British National Party for fighting at the organisation’s national festival in Sawley. Smith, of Brunshaw Road, Burnley, is now said to be suffering from adjustment disorder, brief reactive depression and a mental and behavioural disorder due to misuse of substances.
The defendant, who handed himself into police on Monday morning, after going missing from court the Friday before, has admitted common assault in court on May 11. The court was told Smith had been ejected from the Princess Royal pub on Yorkshire Street, Burnley, but went back in a few minutes later drunk. When the victim took hold of him, he took a swing and struck him, breaking his glasses.
Smith was bailed until August 5, for a pre-sentence report and the bench said they were thinking of a medium community penalty. He must not go within 100 metre of the pub and not contact witnesses.
Dylan Bradshaw, defending, said Smith went to hospital on June 23 and was kept in until July 3. He was seen and diagnosed by a consultant psychiatrist. Mr Bradshsaw said Smith’s life had spiralled out of control. He had earlier left court because he could not face the proceedings and he had surrendered himself at the police station later.
The former town hall member was banned from being a councillor for three years by the Standards Board for England after being caught fighting at the Red, White and Blue Festival in Sawley in August 2003. He had earlier been kicked out of the party following internal meetings over the Sawley incident - a decision which prompted leading BNP organiser Steven Smith to quit. He now heads the Cliviger-based England First Party.
Luke Smith was also jailed for 17 months in March 2006 after being convicted of violent disorder in relation to incidents surrounding a World Cup qualifier in October 2004 and later violence in Blackpool. He was also banned from football grounds for six years.
Previously the former gas engineer, who is barred for life from Turf Moor, had been serving a two-and-a-half year football banning order, imposed for being involved in over 20 violent episodes in five years.